Dauntless Pharmaceuticals Launches New Company Focused on Developing a Portfolio of Improved Therapeutics

-- $12M Series A Investment from Sofinnova Ventures; Joel Martin to serve as President and CEO --

SAN DIEGO, July 21, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Dauntless Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of specialty drugs, today announced the closing of a  $12 million Series A financing. The Company was started by Joel F. Martin, PhD, Co-Founder, President and CEO, and Sofinnova Ventures, the sole institutional investor in the Series A financing. Michael Powell, PhD, Sofinnova general partner, is a Co-Founder and will also serve as Chairman. David Kabakoff, PhD, Sofinnova executive partner, will also serve on the Company's board of directors.

Dauntless will apply its experienced senior team and preclinical, clinical, and regulatory development capabilities to advance a select portfolio of product candidates through preclinical and human proof-of-concept clinical development. A hand-picked team of seasoned biotech professionals have joined Dauntless with the objective of developing important medicines in a cost-effective and time efficient manner. Dauntless and Sofinnova Ventures are committed to funding additional attractive development programs.

"I am pleased to be launching Dauntless with accomplished veterans, financial resources, and our first product candidate," said Joel Martin, PhD, President and CEO of Dauntless Pharmaceuticals. "We intend to leverage established industry relationships, experienced personnel, and our operational capabilities to execute clinical trials efficiently across multiple assets. We invite entrepreneurs and licensors to consider partnering with Dauntless as a way to achieve their drug development objectives. I am very gratified to once again have the support and insight of the Sofinnova team as we build this business."

The Series A financing will fund the development of DP1038, a preclinical-stage drug for the potential treatment of endocrine cancers. DP1038 exploits patented technology developed by Aegis Therapeutics, LLC, a drug-delivery and drug-formulation company that has successfully licensed technology to leading pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical companies. News of the Aegis agreement was outlined today in a separate press release which can be found on the Dauntless website www.dauntlessph.com.

Dr. Martin served most recently as the President and CEO of Cebix, Incorporated, a Phase 2b company in the Sofinnova Ventures portfolio. Prior to Cebix, he served as President and CEO of Altair Therapeutics, a Phase 2 asthma company which was acquired in 2010. Dr. Martin was also a partner at Forward Ventures from 2001 through 2008, where he led investments in neuroscience and oncology companies including Hypnion, Predix, and Cellective Therapeutics. Said Dr. Powell, "Joel Martin is a successful serial entrepreneur, venture investor, and respected leader of drug development. He brings critical, multidisciplinary capabilities as CEO. We are pleased to be launching Dauntless with Joel, and look forward to working together on additional programs."

Dr. Martin was also co-founder and CEO of Quantum Dot Corporation (acquired by Life Technologies), a pioneer in nanotechnology applications in the life sciences, as well as co-founder and CEO of Argonaut Technologies, a chemistry automation company (formerly NASDAQ: AGNT), which was acquired by Biotage AB. Dr. Martin earned his PhD in Physical Chemistry from the University of California, San Diego, and holds MBA and BS degrees from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

About Dauntless Pharmaceuticals, Inc. 
Dauntless Pharmaceuticals manages the development of multiple clinical assets, using a separate corporation for each. This enables the optimal structuring of financial, human, and development resources as well as acquisitions and partnerships. Dauntless' approach reduces fixed costs while leveraging project-specific human capital and external service providers. Dauntless has access to broad industry expertise and sources of capital that can speed the development of new specialty products to the benefit of entrepreneurs and inventors.

About Sofinnova
Sofinnova has over 40 years of experience building healthcare companies into market leaders. With approximately $2 billion, the firm invests solely in the life sciences sector with a focus on drug development. The Sofinnova investment team of MDs, PhDs, and seasoned executives has deep scientific, operational, and strategic experience.

Sofinnova's most recent fund, SVP IX (2014), is a $500M vehicle focused on clinical-stage drug development with an emphasis on early-stage technology and later-stage products. Sofinnova focuses on developing specialty pharmaceuticals and orphan disease products, sourcing investments in both the United States and Europe. Sofinnova has offices in Menlo Park and La Jolla, CA.

Contact for Further Information:
Corporate Inquiries:
Joel Martin, PhD
[email protected]

Media Inquiries:
Jennifer James
Partner, Sofinnova
[email protected]
(650) 681-8429


SOURCE Dauntless Pharmaceuticals